2002 defeat to Brazil still haunts Belgium coach Marc Wilmots
The 2-0 defeat in the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup and, more specifically, a disallowed goal when the game was still tied, still bothers the 44-year-old.
In the 36th minute of the encounter, Wilmots had a headed goal controversially disallowed for a push. Brazil went on to win the game with second-half strikes from Rivaldo and Ronaldo.
That was his country’s last appearance at a World Cup and ever since he has been hoping that the paths of the two countries cross once again.
“I have talked about this subject many times. Surely, if that goal had been allowed, the result could have been different. I'm not saying it would have been, just that it could have been,” said Wilmots.
Wilmots does not believe that the result against the Brazilians has influenced Belgium’s 12 year absence from World Cup competition.
“I have already explained this. We didn’t qualify because our clubs stopped investing in the youth players and because our federation experienced an unprecedented political crisis,” he said.
His Belgium team are expected to qualify for the second round of the World Cup from a group also made up of Algeria, Russia and South Korea.